Batting for Nepal’s Maoists
According to Siddharth Varadarajan, not only should India accept that Nepal’s Maoists will not disarm, it must convince the UN Security Council of the need to accept this ‘reality’. What’s more, he calls for India to Nepali Maoists it has imprisoned, without even waiting for the new Nepalese government to first ask for their release.
For the U.N., Nepal can be the first practical project of the new Peacebuilding Commission, of which India is a member along with more than 40 other nations. But the mandate for the deployment of military or police observers will have to come from the General Assembly or Security Council, most likely the latter. The relevant resolution must be Chapter VI and not VII….This is important because individual UNSC members â€” such as the United States â€” oppose the inclusion of Maoists in an interim government without first surrendering their arms and may seek to impose a broader mandate. This is where India must counsel its new `strategic partner’ to abandon McCarthyism and accept reality.
One of the first acts of the new government will be to formally request the release of Nepali Maoist prisoners in Indian jails, including senior leaders like Mohan Baidhya (`Kiran’) and Chandra Prakash Gajurel (`Gaurav’). Rather than waiting for this request, which has already been made orally by Mr. Koirala, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should take the necessary legal steps for their immediate release. [The Hindu]
India must do all this, he argues, to earn the Maoists’ goodwill. Jubilation at their victory is clouding Varadarajan’s perception of reality. For now that the Maoists find themselves in the corridors of political power, it is for them to make the effort to earn India’s goodwill. Disarming before the coming elections is the first step towards that direction.